It's implicit in the article's byline, which says: 'Labour should listen.'
A seemingly progressive call, you might readily think. But why should that injunction to listen even be urged of 'the people's party' when Labour is the enduring problem for any people-rooted, left advancement?
Lamentably, within this lofty endorsement of Podemos, Jones still fails to concede that Labour can never be a credible vehicle for change, that it's long-done, unreformable, too tainted by establishment ideology, neoliberal doctrine and historic sellout.
Like so many left-loyal-Labourites, he refuses to give it over to the Blairites. But why not? It isn't worth keeping. How could something Podemos-style ever emerge from such a compromised entity?
Even if, rather than installing another right-wing leader, it somehow manages to place a more leftist figure at the helm, Labour is now utterly defunct as a serious motor of reform. It's part of a cabal politics which, as expressed in the very street thinking of Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias, has to be replaced by a real bottom-up, people-rooted politics.
Jones appears up for the task. But any consideration of such must be honest about how the Labour protectorate, including Jones, has actually served to stifle that goal.
Without recrimination, and in positive critique, we must be open about how Jones gave his all in backing Miliband and saving Labour - in the process almost begging Blairite Alan Johnson to return as the party saviour. We must reiterate how Jones advocated a No vote in the Scottish referendum, despite the Yes movement's meteoric rise, the closest thing we've ever seen to a real Podemos-style street politics.
Likewise with this article. If Podemos is the politics of the moment, why was it not championed by Jones before the election and during the referendum?
When these kind of points are put to Jones they're often met with dismissive jibes - as in: "Ever get bored of your sectarianism?" As if having a fundamental disagreement on such vital issues constitutes some petty wish for division, or that a challenging view is somehow invalid.
This is not about personal politics - something Tony Benn always, admirably avoided - or about targeting Jones. It's a rational assessment of what a key and influential figure has been mistakenly proposing, and how we might now use such errors to progress a viable alternative, the very Podemos-type alternative Jones himself writes of.
Labour is unrecoverable. But Jones is certainly not. He says this is now about a collective failure of the left, including his own:
This is not me castigating the failures of others, arrogantly assuming I have it all worked out. I don’t, and this is about my failure as much as anyone else’s.His openness is to be applauded. Honest reflection, coming from good, reasoned debate, is something we can all, always aspire to. I do, indeed, hope Jones - with Russell Brand - is in the process of rethinking many of the positions he's adopted, that he really does now, in particular, even belatedly, see the futility of default Labourism.
But I retain serious doubts. How easy now for Jones to acknowledge a Podemos-movement politics, just as he acknowledged the Yes movement in Scotland without actually urging and working for a Yes vote.
Jones should not just have been listening to the massive street politics that caused the poorest of Glasgow to turn out for a Yes - and then, still defiant after being stitched-up by the establishment, voted in record numbers to ditch Labour in its historic heartland. He should have been working with them/us for the same progressive outcomes.
From Madrid to Athens, Barcelona to Glasgow, it's the same basic indignados politics, not just the rejection of austerity, but a new nothing-to-lose response to decades of alienation and abandonment.
It's that same rejectionist politics that's driven the amazing Podemos victory in Barcelona, and Manuela Carmena, through leftist platform Ahora Madrid (including Podemos), to an historic breakthrough in Madrid.
Even though Iglesias favours a unified Spain, he also recognises the progressive demands energising politics in Catalonia. And with this, the more important unifying role of movement politics in connecting with people on the ground over immediate issues:
I also think that paradoxically we [Podemos], Syriza and ourselves, are playing the role [of the] social democra[tic] left. We saw this in the UK. The Scottish National Party really beat the Labour Party by criticising austerity and criticising cuts...Interviewing Iglesias, Tariq Ali concurs, noting that the establishment imperative is not just, as in Greece, an issue over economic control, but a political emergency for the establishment, that they're determined to crush the whole radical experiment.
Iglesias agrees, but is optimistic about the gathering response: "the political opposition space in Europe is being taken over by us".
And so it is proving, with tremendous advances now for Podemos in the Spanish regional elections, resilient popular support for Syriza in Greece, and massive new confidence over the SNP's civic-minded rise in Scotland - much of it admired and supported across the UK.
While political distinctions prevail on different European streets, this is the same mode of civil resistance. Indeed, Jones should be urging the model language of political Scotland as much as any new political Spanish. Again, it's about movement rather than party politics.
The SNP are, in this regard, only valid as a popular manifestation of that movement politics - otherwise the shift from Labour to SNP could be seen as little more than the standard protest vote. It's definitively not. And, again, be certain that the establishment also know very differently. For them, this is a crisis exercise in halting a mood-movement politics, which is why they've thrown every available weapon in their considerable armoury at trying to eliminate it.
Having stolen the referendum and seen its preferred party installed at Westminster, the establishment narrative has now conveniently shifted to fixing-up Labour. The system, after all, is only legitimised by that old trope, a 'necessary and viable opposition'.
Predictably, much focus is now being given over to Labour's successor. Like the tired old 'parliamentary choice', we're now expected to pick over the 'differences' between Burnham, Kendall et al. Again, Jones appears dissatisfied:
Labour’s leadership “debate” is so far anything but: platitudes instead of policies. So let’s have some of the latter and decide what future – if any – Labour actually has.Jones reiterates his discontent in his latest video, 'What's the point in the Labour party now?' He derides the leadership contest with its "vacuous buzzwords", such as 'aspiration', and ends with the question: "What are we going to do about the Labour party?"
But why even engage this 'debate'? It's an utterly futile exercise. If Jones is serious about Podemos politics, start writing in a consistent Podemos vernacular, rather than lamenting Labour's decline and being part of the 're-branding'. Otherwise all we'll get is another dragged-out five years preparing for the next Labour 'deliverance'.
And if Podemos politics is about pulling people away from controlling parties and their clone narrative, it's also, even more seriously, about pulling them away from an all-controlling media.
As Iglesias so acutely asserts:
We believe that the media is the real terrain of the ideological battle...if you don't win the battle with the media, then you don't exist politically.Even though Iglesias is speaking the voice of the street, he's actually articulating a useful Gramscian Marxism in his reading of the organic crisis of the dominant system and the vital role of counter-intellectuals in breaking elite hegemony through popular alternative politics.
Which raises another elementary question: how can would-be radicals like Jones seriously assist that counter-hegemony, that vital street-led narrative, from within a liberal, power-serving media?
There now needs to be the greatest war ever waged on all forms of the dominant media. And, like sticking with format party politics, that's not going to be advanced from inside the cosy establishment confines of the Guardian.
So there needs to be a fundamental re-evaluation of how to move beyond that existing media, to promoting exciting, alternative popular platforms, just as there has to be a decisive break with working to prop-up and legitimate establishment parties.
In the same vein, there has to be a decisive challenge to the very structures of parliamentary power and the UK state.
As with cabal parties and the boundary-policing media, the political Union, and its corporate arm ,UK Inc, is a crucial part of the establishment matrix; nothing of any radical worth can be realised from working within it.
Jones has declared his preference for a federalist UK. But this still holds to the same essential covenant of Unionist politics, none of which allows for any truly alternative model of governance. As part of an establishment-left effort to save Labour, Jones has played a substantive part in holding back Scotland's aspirations towards radical independence. How street-savvy or Podemos-affirming is that?
Nor can any radical result ever be realised under our grotesque Westminster electoral system. The Electoral Reform Society has just issued a key report declaring the prevailing voting system 'bust', after the most unrepresentative election in history.
Again, Jones has no particular need, in this regard, to look towards Spain. Just turn to the vibrant possibilities in Scotland, where under Holyrood's modern PR system, a range of Green and small left parties are now organising for a real chance of meaningful representation at next May's election.
There can be no serious radical shift under the current political/electoral system. It has to be rendered illegitimate and opposed on the street, not through hoped-for internal reform.
Meanwhile, back in our fantasia democracy, electors face another five-year search for New Improved Labour, forlorn hopes of some future PR deal, and an enduring zombie-land of neoliberal politics. There's also the UK state's relentless 'world power' addiction to warmongering and coveting of mad missiles on the Clyde.
Still, there's always our enchanting royals and feudal UKania keeping us lowly subjects loyal and steadfast, helping to preserve our beloved institutions, constitutional authority and unifying politics. As Tom Nairn so quintessentially asks: 'Are we all mad?'
Where's the political exit? Isn't it now time for modernity, real democratic participation and a year-zero politics?
If Jones is really serious about turning to Spain and Podemos, about acting in the spirit of Iglesias, and defining a new-era project, here's three immediate tasks to consider:
1. Abandon Labour. The bulk of Scotland already has. Urge all other leftists, unions and civil institutions to do likewise.
2. Dispense with the left/liberal establishment media. Only a radically, corporate-free new media can speak with a truly independent street voice.
3. Reject parliament's stacked system and do everything possible to help break-up the UK state, in pursuit of independence for Scotland and other regional parliaments.
Beyond Owen Jones's apparent endorsement of Podemos lies a real testing choice: lifeboat politics - trying to rescue a sinking Labour party, keeping safe within the establishment media and clinging to an archaic state; or real movement politics - standing outside collaborator parties, writing as an independent journalist and taking a decisive position in casting adrift all those archaic institutions.
Is Jones ready to advance these core ideas, a new street politics untainted and unconstrained by the old system? Let's see.